• This 66th Cannes Festival was a genuinely social affair. No, I don’t mean the bacchanalian soirees and the private parties which happened relentlessly during the eleven days or so of the festival. I’m referring to social media. Cannes’ Twitter ecosystem really came into its own this year, with people (“les tweetos” as the French like to call them) taking to the bandwidths to comment on everything from the selection to the celebs (les “pipoles”)

  • This morning in Paris the official selection for the 66th edition of the Cannes Festival was announced during a press conference at the UGC theater. There's a strong French contingent this year, among others Francois Ozon and Roman Polanski, who will present "Venus in Fur" starring his spouse Emmanuelle Seigner as well as Matthieu Amalric. Actually Polanski claims the film to be Polish based on where the financing comes from. Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi ("A Separation") cast Berenice Bejo ("The Artist") and shot his latest film in Paris. That said, Americans have a strong showing this year, from the Coen Brothers who wil

  • With the unveiling of its 66th edition's official poster the Cannes Festival pays tribute to Hollywood's power to generate wonderment. This year's bill features a photograph of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman locked in a permanent kiss, as captured on set during the filming of "A new kind of love" (film was directed by Melville Shavelton; the year was 1963). The couple, who met during filming, would go on to perform in eleven

  • I was looking for some music on iTunes when, by some coincidence, I ran into the “Carnival of the Animals” suite by French romantic composer Camille de Saint Saëns. In fact, I was looking for some house music for my morning jog at the gymn.

    The arrangement I found was by Barry Wordsworth and the London Symphonic Orchestra. The melodies had a pleasant, cinematic quality to them. The titles--“Kangaroos,” “People with long ears”—sounded as if they’d been lifted from Michel Gondry’s scrap book.

    And then, the unpredictable occurred: “Aquarium,” the better-known piece from "Carnival of the Animals" came on the loudspeakers. I couldn’t believe it; this was the same music that’s been used by the Cannes Film Festival for the opening title sequence which plays before every screening (see video player below).

    The same fairytale-like splendor, the whirlwind-like glissandos, it was all there—I was spellbound by it. Here I was, right back in my seat at the Lumière Theatre, waiting for the first screening to start.

    The same day I contacted Gilles Jacob to ask him about this all came to be.